Men in green blazers overshadow Chelsea’s west London derby with film promotion

A bizarre spectacle took place at Chelsea vs Fulham (Getty Images)
A bizarre spectacle took place at Chelsea vs Fulham (Getty Images)

Chelsea’s match against Fulham might have been billed as a west London derby, but the first half was largely dominated by a lack of quality on the pitch and a bizarre performance from the sidelines.

Mauricio Pochettino had already mentioned the film Argylle, in his pre-match press conference but few could have predicted what would take place behind the Chelsea manager on the touchline.

Argylle is due to be released in February 2024 and has Henry Cavill and Dua Lipa among an impressive cast list for the spy thriller.

At seemingly random intervals, a group of men in dark green velvet jackets stood up and on one occasion held up books, at another seemed to be brushing their teeth, and at a further time were pointing at imaginary wristwatches.

Each action took place for up to around 30 seconds but did not seem to have any bearing on what was happening on the pitch. Those sitting behind the men in green were treated to an increasingly frustrated Pochettino while the men in green jackets carried on.

However, the Chelsea manager believes it did not affect the spectacle, although he did add he was invited to the premiere.

“I was aware (of it). It didn’t affect the spectacle and today I think we were talking about VAR a few weeks ago and business and football, today it’s open to many different things that can happen but for me it’s welcome because it does not affect the spectacle and it does not affect the players.

“For the fans, I think it’s nice to see the promotion of the film and I think it looks very very good. They invited me for the premiere.”

Anyone sitting directly behind those taking part would have had their match view seriously impeded, and there was a child one row back who likely would have been unable to see anything.

Even for Boehly who has been known to shake things up in the Premier League with his signings, it was the sort of spectacle not often seen at a football match.

It was more akin to the commercialisation of other sports, including those like the NFL, where timeouts and other stoppages are often sponsored.